A medical magazine argues that wearable technology and other mobile data-gathering devices should replace self-reporting diaries to track symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. This is according to new research published in a medical journal, npj Digital Medicine.
Paolo Bonato, a senior author on the paper and one of the principal investigators of the initiative said:
“For clinicians to effectively manage the disease and for researchers to develop new therapies, [high-quality] data are critical.”
Bonato who is an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School added:
“By using technology to help us get accurate data and more of it, we feel this approach can be used to help us improve the care and research options for the population with Parkinson’s disease.”
He is also a director of the Spaulding Motion Analysis Lab and an associate faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
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The project wants to improve methods of data collection for studies of Parkinson’s disease. This covers researchers from HMS, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston University School of Medicine, Pfizer Inc., Tufts Medical Center and the Wyss.
They asked 60 healthy volunteers and 95 people with Parkinson’s disease to record their activities and symptoms in electronic diaries. They also monitored participants at home, in simulated apartment settings and in laboratory environments.
In comparison, devices are capable of continuously gathering high-resolution motion data in real-time. But 38 percent of study participants manually recording their activities missed 25 percent of possible entries. Also, entries came hours after the events described with about 35 percent false negatives and 15 percent false positives.
Thus making it clear that wearable technology is better at monitoring Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Also, digital measurement tools including mobile and wearable technologies are widely recognized for their potential to improve the resolution and efficacy of remote monitoring of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Kip Thomas also added:
“Digital technologies have the potential to enhance existing standard methods of assessing and monitoring Parkinson’s disease.
“Also, their functional ability to live an independent and fulfilling life [is helpful]”
Kip Thomas is also the principal investigator of the Boston University arm of the project. He says “Integrating digital measures … will improve the consistency and resolution of the data to the benefit of the scientist, the clinician, and … the patient.”
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